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Lexus ES review: Go hybrid or go home

The ES is traditionally the bestselling Lexus here. The new model reveals why

BT_20181207_LEXUS7_3637305.jpg
PHOTO: BIG FISH PUBLISHING

BT_20181207_LEXUS7_3637305.jpg
PHOTO: BIG FISH PUBLISHING

Singapore

WHY say "yes" to a Lexus ES? Plenty of reasons, starting with the fact that it generally undercuts its foes. With other Lexus models, you tend to pay as much as, or even more than what you have to for a German rival, but the ES starts at a downright reasonable S$208,800, including Certificate Of Entitlement.

For the money you get plenty, especially in terms of real estate. The space in the back will have you thinking about where to put a dining table.

Of course, that wouldn't be worth a damn if the car itself were a dud, so it's just as well that the new ES is pretty hot stuff.

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Like all luxury cars ought to, it cuts a regal presence on the road, thanks in no small measure to its striking looks.

That front grille alone has your eyeballs on stalks, and the body may be big but it's curved in the right places. It works for Nigella Lawson, and it works for the Lexus ES.

Size sometimes implies clumsiness, but the new ES can zig, zag and all the rest of it with grace. There's a nice heft to the steering, and you can drive the ES with something approaching aplomb.

But things are let down by a rather ordinary 2.5-litre engine in the ES 250. Far better is the petrol-electric combo that powers the hybrid ES 300h. It doesn't have sparkle, but its smoothness and silence add peerless refinement - the kind that made you glad you said "yes" to a Lexus.


Lexus ES 300h Luxury

Engine 2,487cc, 16V, in-line four with 88kW electric motor

Power 218hp at 5,700rpm

Torque 221Nm at 3,600rpm

Gearbox Continuously Variable Transmission

Top Speed 180km/h 0-100km/h 8.9 seconds

Fuel efficiency 4.6L/100km

Price S$238,800 with COE

Agent Borneo Motors

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